Monday, October 27, 2008

Smiley guy

Some of you are probably a lot more interested in the exploits of the little munchie than those of the moody foodie. Stephen has been smiling a lot more lately. Today I even got him to giggle just after this photo was taken.

Stocking the fridge

I've been in a cooking frenzy the last couple of days... Last week I made a pumpkin pie without using condensed milk... or tofu (which some vegan recipes call for). The dessert was thrown together between baby duties so the crust is very messy.. just 1 1/2 cup flour, 1/4 cup canola oil, 1/4 tsp salt mixed and sprinkled with water and pressed into the bottom of a pie plate. (Stephen was crying at this point, so I didn't try to make it look pretty.) The filling: about 1 can pumpkin, 2/3 cup soy milk, 2/3 cup sugar and random shakes of cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon and allspice. Oh and two eggs. That's it. Pour it in and bake at 350 until a knife came out clean.

I also filled my fridge with buttercup squash, nuked in 1/2 inch water per the sticker on the outside of the vegetable and mashed with butter and salt. A psuedo lasagna with spinach, mushrooms, chicken meatballs, prego and rotini with parmesan and mozzerella on top. Chicken fajitas using the sweet red bell peppers on sale at kroger for 68 cents. Turkey meatloaf with cauliflower and red bell peppers and oats. And an odd chicken potpie with zucchini, carrot, onion and spiced with curry and tandoori masala... with biscuits on top since i'm not so good at making pie crust!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Stephen's 2-month party with Wongs and Tilsches

On Saturday, the day before Stephen's two-month birthday, we had a Chinese-style baby party at Smiling Buddha off of Golf Road. My parents have been ordering dishes not on the menu and eating their popular sizzling rice soup and chatting it up with the owner Mu-i for ... well... decades.
Stephen was well behaved as he made his rounds. My Aunt Susie and my cousin Christina are seen here.
sizzling rice soup, post-sizzle
Fish fillet with baby bok choy, peppercorn shrimp with pickled cabbage... We also had a soft tofu and beef dish, beef atop an oversized nest of fried mee fun noodles, beef chow fun (cantonese for wide rice noodles, not fried rice as it would be in mandarin), cashew chicken and lots of hot Chinese tea (not me of course, I avoid caffinating my already over-active son).
We had bakery goods from Chiu Quon bakery (on Argyle st. in Chicago) for dessert-- seen here are mini custard pies, flaky apple pies, red bean moon cakes. We also had coconut tarts and those chewy rice balls that are coated in sesame seeds, filled with red bean and deep fried. Mu-i also brought out "American dessert" of fortune and almond cookies.
Stephen enjoyed his pacifier.
Me, my aunt Susie's sister-in-law Sue Yee, my cousin John Tilsch, my grandma Marjorl Tilsch, my dad, mom, cousin Jonathan Wong, Uncle John Wong, Aunt Susie Wong, cousin Christina Wong,Cousin Richard Wong. My uncle Doug Tilsch and his gal Nilda met us at our house after the late lunch.
My cousin John Tilsch is a natural with Stephen... here they share a cute moment :-)

Chi-town chow

My mom made sure I got to eat my favorite meals while we visited my side of the family the last three days.Thai Garden on Golf Road has been the subject of a previous post. I love their panang with vegetables and tofu, "Popeye" chicken (served in sweet peanut sauce over wilted spinach) and shrimp pad thai. This was our meal with Nan on Wed night when we first got into town. So good that I even ate leftovers for breakfast one morning.
Lou Malnati's Salad (mushrooms, tomatoes, black olives, proscuitto crunchies and gorgonzola over spring mix tossed in a sweet vinaigrette) and big fat rings of calamari so tender I wondered if it was fully cooked.
Joe and I also managed a casual lunch date at the Corner Bakery attached to Maggianos. I had the California style panini with artichoke, zuch and other veggies. Joe had caprese on a baguette. Thanks to Chappelears for the Maggianno's gift card for Joe's birthday.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Meeting "Great-Nan-Ma" Tilsch

My grandma, who goes by "Nan," flew in from Green Valley Ariz. to meet her first great-grandchild. Stephen slept through their very first introduction.

But he made up for it later :-)

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Wild Mango

On Tuesday night, Joe and I got all gussied up and went on an honest to goodness date. Wild Mango is a newer restaurant at Great Northern Mall in North Olmsted, a west Cleveland suburb.
I had the Salmon Duo... perfectly cooked salmon cinched together with a scallion and nestled in whipped garlic potatoes with a teriyaki glaze, a mango and cucumber relish and pesto topped salmon on a block of sushi rice with a gingery sauce drizzled at the bottom.
We split a vietnamese spring mix salad with prawns, peanuts, soft rice noodles drenched in sauce at the bottom and fried rice noodles mounded on top. There were also delicate sweet potato spring rolls in the mix. YUM!

Joe ordered the duck, which came with sweet potatoes and an eggplant salad. In true Tilsch style, he let me sample all of his food before wolfing it down :-)
After our hot date, we went to best buy and got a flip cam then Target to pick up another pack of diapers. Don't we know how to be romantic!

Meeting the Parrinos and Giammos

Grandma G and Auntie Barbie try to entertain the little guy.

Fall foliage portraits

Cleveland eats

Grandma Giammo made this crustless quiche with spinach, mushroom and red pepper... I enjoyed eating a wedge of it on our trip from Cleveland to Chicago.
The Parrino clan met at Sara's Place (pronounced like the word car-a instead of care-a)in Gates Mill, on the east side of Cleveland. I had a california style turkey burger that stared me in the face for almost an hour while I fed Stephen and forked broccoli dipped in Joe's mussels provencal sauce into my mouth. And I didn't even drip on the kid. But once Stephen was done with dinner, I got to eat mine: an all-white meat turkey burger that was as savory and juicy as sausage topped with guacamole, roasted red peppers and alfalfa sprouts. I was in heaven.
For dessert, I split this cute pumpkin pie with aunt Sally. The crust to filling ratio was a little off. I would have rathered to have more pumpkin, less dough. Or if the crust was saltier or more sugary it would have been better. :-) Overall, Sara's Place had a great menu and an airy country ambiance.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

On sale at Kroger

Joe is a sucker for the "Manager's Special" sticker. Well, OK, I admit I am too. But I think Joe tends to snap up unusual prepared foods on discount more often. Last night he bought this and three other Indian "Tasty Bites"

Stephen actually took a nap after his 10:30 feeding today, so I decided to try the curried spinach and paneer to get a quick dose of veggies. (Our frige is getting pretty sparse since we're about to go on a week's vacation)
I opened the box to find a metallic pouch that reminded me of one of my uncle Doug's MREs. The pouch contained the distinctive Campbells' Soup smell... you know what I mean... tomato soup, chicken noodle soup, italian wedding soup.. they all have the same weird but familiar smell. Once the contents were plopped into a bowl it didn't look very appetizing either.

But I nuked it for 60 seconds and it was actually very tasty. Hints of mint and maybe coriander and chili. But it really needed some basmati rice or naan or something to sop it up with. The paneer was quite soggy, like the softest kind of tofu. I felt like I was eating sauce, really tasty sauce, but still sauce for lunch. So into the refrigerator it went. I also feared that the chili might be too much for Stephen when he eats next :-)

Starting a new tradition

Last year we bought that giganto cushaw squash that took several recipes to consume. Joe decided that we should buy at least one interesting squash each fall. The green pumpkin is called a buttercup squash... the gnarly one is just an inedible gourd for decoration.

I'll have to cook it up, but probably not for a couple weeks as we're about to head out to Cleveland and Chicago on Saturday :-) I think the buttercup will stay home.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Stephen is 7 weeks, Joe is 33 years

Stephen turned 7 weeks on Sunday, Joe turned 33 today... sorry I don't have a good father-son photo for the occasion. But here's the little guy in a cute outfit that Joe really likes.
Big yawn.
Peering through the IKEA fish mobile. Stephen has really begun to make eye contact more often than not. Even when it's through a camera. In other news, Stephen just had a doctor's appt. and he now weighs 8 lbs even and is 21 inches long. He's healthy and strong, but on the small side of the spectrum. And now he's vaccinated ... that's a relief to me.

The last bits of summer

Joe and I rarely get to eat together because of Stephen's penchant for not sleeping. But we did get this meal in: Pizza with the last of the garden basil, parsley and tomatoes. Though the weather is still warm here in Kentucky, most all of my plants are dead... haven't had a whole lot of time to tend to them :-( Also had a nice salad with romaine, mushrooms and roasted red bell pepper with balsamic vinaigrette.
And a few bites of fall... Joe got me a pumpkin bagel from the Einsteins on post. I LOVE Einsteins Bagels. This is donut country, but bagels were a big deal when I was in college and I definitely prefer them to their fluffier counterparts. I used to stop at the Einsteins on Case's campus just before church on Sundays to get a hot blueberry bagel. The blueberries actually taste like blueberries, not just flecks of bluish mystery substance like the bagels you get in the grocery store. Anyhow, I'm glad Fort Campbell has a bagel shop.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008